Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Ed Wood Wednesdays, week 153: The Ballad of Bruce Spencer

Bruce Spencer had a brief and almost memorable screen career.

I get the weirdest emails. Most of it, as you might guess, is about Ed Wood. For reasons of their own, people contact me. Some have questions about Ed. Some want copies of Ed's movies or scripts or stories. If I can oblige these people, I do. If I can't, I apologize. Others are working on Ed-related projects of their own and want me to know about them. And still others simply want to share some strange trivia about Ed Wood and his films.

At the right-hand side of this blog, you'll see a section called "So What's This All About, Anyway?" This is where I explain who I am, what this blog is, and what other projects I've worked on. I also give an email address where people can reach me. Most of my email goes to that address. Every once in a while, though, people will contact me through an alternate email address, one I don't generally give out or publicize. I'm never quite sure how people find this address, and I kind of don't want to know. But the determined ones seek me out there.

Recently, at that alternate address, I received an interesting email from a reader named Ed Goldstein. His letter, entitled "A new member of Ed Wood's Universe and a tale" was so interesting that I thought I'd share it with you now:
I was watching Racket Girls (aka Pin-Down Girl, aka The Blonde Pickup) in its MST3K version when a familiar face appeared. It took another viewing in its original format to ascertain that the actor playing Eddie, a low level thug for The Syndicate was definitely the same one who played the man who made homosexual advances toward Conrad Brooks in Glen or Glenda. I've identified him as Bruce Spencer. Mr. Spencer had only one credit on IMDb, and as they've accepted my addition to his record, he now has two. There is nothing else I can find about him, so aside from 30 seconds in Ed's orbit (probably via George Weiss, producer of both films) and a small speaking role in Racket Girls, there might not be much else to know. Might be fun to scour early 50's films to try to spot him.

I see you are also a Svengoolie fan. Here's a story about next week's offering. Realart Pictures re-released Man-Made Monster in the 1950s, but changed the title to The Atomic Monster to attract a new generation of sci fi fan. They were successfully sued by Ed's good friend Alex Gordon because he had submitted a script with that title to Realart some time before. That title became Bride of the Monster. Alex happily settled for $1000.

Gordon, his lawyer and Realart's lawyer found a common love of movie making and decided when the suit was done to go into pictures together. Gordon was on the creative side, the two lawyers on the money side. Gordon eventually became unhappy and left. Gordon's lawyer, Samuel Arkoff, and Realart's Lawyer, James Nicholson, eventually named their company American International Pictures and became the kind of giants of the B picture world that Ed Wood aspired to be.
What did I tell you? I get the weirdest emails... and some of the best.